It has already been shown that what you post on social media may later be used against you. Law enforcement officials around the country are turning to social media posts more and more to find evidence of crimes. A selfie at a bar posted moments before a DUI arrest can do wonders for the prosecution’s case against you, and threats you post may help lead authorities to your door when the victim of your rant shows up badly bruised.
Now, a new turn in the realm of social medial and its impact on crimes. The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving social media giant, Facebook. The case goes like this:
● In 2010 Facebook user Anthony Elonis posted comments about killing wife.
● Elonis did not stop with comments directed towards his wife, he also targeted an FBI agent in his online posts.
● Elonis claims the nearly word for word copy from a satirical comedy group was nothing more than “art” and is protected free speech.
The highest court in the land will now get to decide the issue. And, their ruling could have far reaching implications. Typically, in cases of threats, the test is not whether any actual injury occurs, but whether a reasonable person would be in fear of an injury. Prosecutors are taking a hard line on this case, given today’s climate of cyber stalking and bullying. The argument is instances like Columbine and Sandy Hook can be avoided if threats of violence are taken more seriously. Whatever the outcome, criminal defense attorneys across the nation will be watching the case with interest. It is our job to stay on top of changes in the law, and keep up with trends. Continually educating ourselves on important legal issues is how we best help our clients.
If you have been arrested for on criminal charges, call a criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for more information. Contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation. We build a defense that fits your case and the legal climate, and advocate for favorable result.